The Issue with National Health Insurance in South Africa

An
Ambitious Plan with Doubts

Every single national election, the ANC has a dream, a big
dream that they’re trying to sell us to win our votes. Last time round it was
Land Reform and expropriation and compensation. The ANC is selling us National Health Insurance (NHI) this year. National health insurance is amazing in
theory because it aims to make sure that all South Africans, no matter how
financially disadvantaged or advantaged they are, can access good Quality
Healthcare. But the ANC’s plan for NHI looks like it’s going to be a total
disaster for everyone.

That’s not just my opinion, that’s the opinion of more than
25,000 medical professionals and Allied Workers who are connected somehow to
the medical industry. That’s what they said. The African National Congress is
going to talk nonstop about NHI all the way up until the 2024 election. It’ll
be one of the main reasons that they offer to vote for them to keep them in
power.

The Issue with National Health Insurance in South Africa

What is
National Health Insurance?

National health insurance is the ANC’s plan to get
everybody Healthcare Universal healthcare for all South Africans and good
quality healthcare, the kind that usually only people who can afford private
healthcare and Medical Aid currently get in South Africa. It’s been a key
policy concern for the ANC since at least as far back as the 2008 Powan
conference, but now it’s got to the point where it could be signed into law.

The Act was passed through the National Council of
Provinces just a few days ago which means it’s heading for the president’s desk
for a final signature from Raposa.

The
Concerns and Criticisms

However, if everyone except the ANC hates the plan, the DA,
IFP, Freedom Front Plus, and EFF have all criticized it and taken against it
for a variety of reasons. One of them they share is the current disaster of
corruption, maladministration, and decaying dilapidated public Healthcare
facilities across South Africa that the ANC government has presided over for
the last nearly 30 years, particularly in rural and impoverished areas. Lobby
groups for big business have called it unworkable, unaffordable,
unimplementable, and unconstitutional.

The ANC insists that this Act will be revolutionary and
it’s historic and it’s a victory for the poor because it will absolutely do
away with inequality of service and access to healthcare in the broader medical
industry.

However, it’s already obvious that the ANC believes that
this Act once passed will be a great pitch for them to use to try and convince
voters to vote for them again and keep them in power in 2024.

The
ANC’s Broken Promises

Let’s be honest, the ANC is extraordinarily talented at
making promises and not delivering on those promises. For years, they have
promised us that they will defeat load shedding and end the energy crisis in
South Africa, that they will fix the police force, and that they will make South
Africa safer for women and children. Now, the ANC government wants you to vote
for them because they’re going to create a national health Health Insurance
Fund.

But they have nearly destroyed the Public Health Care
Service. The South African government cannot and/or is totally uninterested in
providing its citizens good healthcare. The public health care service that has
been made for and degraded for them by this South African government is so
unspeakable often so unsurvivable.

Now, the ANC government wants you to vote for them because
they’re going to create a national health Health Insurance Fund that’s going to
provide the money for all South Africans to get Healthcare. But they have
nearly destroyed the Public Health Care Service. It’s like that husband trying
to save his marriage through one Great ACT looking around and noticing that his
partner and his kids are malnourished they haven’t been eating well and
deciding you know what we need we need a private chef at vast expense we’re
going to get a private Chef even though on the husband’s watch the stove has
been broken the microwave doesn’t work and the fridge can barely keep anything
at room temperature but no he’s going to get his family a private Chef even
though that Chef doesn’t have the working environment, the equipment, or the
resources, the base ingredients that that Chef needs to do a decent job.

The
Challenges Ahead

The ANC knows that there will be legal challenges and
advocacy challenges. Afro Forum might try and take this to the Constitutional
court and the implementation of the Act will be slowed down. Even if they win
all of those cases and the Act is permitted to be put into law, the Act will
only really come into effect after the 2024 election. This means that the ANC
won’t have to actually do anything and won’t have to prove that they
can and are implementing National healthcare insurance effectively before the election.
They can just say we’ve pushed it through, it’s coming.

The
Vision and the Reality

National health insurance is an amazing idea. Every single
human being has the right to access to superb quality healthcare regardless of
their circumstance. That’s exactly what all South Africans, what all people
deserve. But the public healthcare service that has been made for and degraded
for them by this South African government is so unspeakable often so
unsurvivable that even if you want to do good, the toll is so great. This
enforcement of national health insurance on a system that is already so
fundamentally broken and needs so many fixes before the NHI to even do its job
now will only make it more intolerable for all of these do-gooder medical
professionals.

The South African government cannot and/or needs to be more interested in providing its citizens good healthcare. It’s never been a
funding problem. And you know what the worst part is? National health insurance
is an amazing idea. It’s exactly what we need. But this isn’t an ideal world,
and the ANC government has proven time and time again that it is not capable of
delivering on its promises.

Thank you so much for reading. Stay tuned for more updates
on the issue with National Health Insurance in South Africa.

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